Playing Nursemaid

I found out over the weekend that my mom hasn’t had a shower since she moved (three weeks ago), because she’s been refusing shower assistance. She’s been making do with sponge baths from the sink, which is what she was doing before we moved her into assisted living last November. I dropped by tonight after dinner, brought her some Ensure shakes for the mornings when she doesn’t feel like going down to breakfast, and talked her into taking a shower.

She said she only wanted someone to be standing by “in case I lose my balance,” but she needed help with everything – how to turn on the shower, holding the handheld shower while she washed, scrubbing her back. She didn’t seem to be at all uncomfortable or concerned about modesty. I guess better the daughter that you used to bathe when she was a baby than a total stranger standing by while you lather up.

Tomorrow after work I’ll take her to get her hair done. That was the “carrot” I used to convince her to take a shower, that she has to take one before the hair salon since I know she won’t want to risk ruining her hair for a few days after she gets it done.

First on my “to do” list tomorrow, though, is researching dentists. When we went into the bathroom, mom showed me a tooth that had broken off her bottom partial – which was already missing two teeth. It’s even looser now, and the need to find a dentist has been upgraded to Urgent. It’s always something…


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